UC Berkeley History Professor’s Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy Reply

I agree with some points made in this article and disagree with others. But I’d say many of the arguments made are beside the point. Whether one believes George Floyd was personally a nice guy or not, whether one thinks systemic racism is the sole explanation for the overrepresentation of blacks in the “criminal justice system,” whether one agrees with the ideology of BLM (to the degree it has an ideology), or whether one likes the political Left or PC culture, is beside the point. The American police state is about much, much more than race, ideology, crime, individual cases, political correctness, cultural patterns in particular communities, or even social class.

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Remembering Capitalism’s Crimes Reply

Any self-identifying socialist will be met with the question at some point in their lives, how many people have been killed in the name of socialism? They might have pointed out in response that Soviet-style state socialism is about as far removed from the democratic socialism proposed by politicians such as Jeremy Corbyn as Chinese state capitalism is from its free-market cousin. But they are unlikely to have noted that the world’s largest empire engaged in a programme of international assassinations more deadly than Stalin’s purges – all in the name of capitalism.

In his new book The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World, Vincent Bevins reveals the staggering death toll of the US’ foreign policy throughout the Cold War. The book centres on the anticommunist massacres that took place in Indonesia in 1965-66, as US-backed dictator Suharto deposed his anti-imperialist, developmentalist predecessor Sukarno.

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A Statue of Hatuey Reply

By Don Fitz

If you look at a US $20 bill, you might notice Andrew Jackson nervously watching statues of Columbus and Robert E. Lee coming down and wondering if his face is going to disappear from currency.  As Democrats ponder which militarist they wish to glorify in the next round of monuments, it is critical to realize that statues which go up are at least as important as the ones that come down.  Perhaps the best nominee for a new statue is Hatuey.

A few years ago, while visiting my daughter and grandson in Havana, I learned that his favorite playmate was Hatuey.  “I recognize a lot of Spanish names,” I told my daughter. “But I’ve never heard that one.”

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South Dakota governor calls removal of Confederate statues effort to ‘discredit’ founding fathers Reply

Princess Kristi is merely trying to advance her position within the Trumpist Party by positioning herself as a friend of the right-wing of the Red Tribe. Obviously, the Confederacy is completely irrelevant to South Dakota (which wasn’t even a state during the time of the US Civil War). Kristi is a flunkie for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, and for global corporations that profit from outsourcing to countries with de facto slave labor. She cares no more for the Confederacy or historic Americana than some mid-level divisional manager at the World Bank. This is no different than the traditional practice of the Belgian empire of playing the Hutus and Tutsis off against each other in their Rwandan colony.

Tal Axelrod

The Hill

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) hammered activists calling for the removal of Confederate statues, saying they are trying to “discredit” America’s founding fathers.

“Across America these last several weeks, we have been witnessing a very troubling situation unfold. In real time, we are watching an organized, coordinated campaign to remove and eliminate all references to our nation’s founding and many other points in our history,” Noem said at a Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore with President Trump.

The approach focuses exclusively on our forefathers’ flaws, but it fails to capitalize on the opportunity to learn from their virtues,” she added. “Make no mistake, this is being done deliberately to discredit America’s founding principles by discrediting the individuals who formed them, so that America can be remade into a different political image.”

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Protesters block highway as Trump makes his way to Mount Rushmore Reply

This is kind of like Netanyahu holding a campaign rally in the West Bank or Gaza.

Trump is obviously trying to fuel “culture war” sympathy on the right because he knows he can hardly run on the great state of the nation. One reason why I think the wave of statue/monument vandalism was a mistake was that it fuels things like this, i.e. a pushback from the right-wing, led by a demagogic politician who only wants to distract attention away from everything else (mass unemployment, botched handling of the pandemic, the recent class-based insurrection, widening class divisions, the police state, etc.) by inciting some tribes against others.

The statue vandalism craze was a distraction from the more substantive issues (the insurrection against the state and capitalist class) and provided a vehicle for propagandists for the right-wing of the ruling class to deflect attention away from the insurgency toward the culture war by playing tribe against tribe: “Forget attacking the power elite, one of those other tribes over there is vandalizing your icons!” How the protestors play this hand will be important. It’s essential that they do not succumb to Trump’s bait. Trump would like nothing better than mayhem so he can appeal to safety-crazed soccer moms and say, “Do you want this coming to Peoria?”

By Tal Axelrod

The Hill

Protesters were seen on Friday blocking a highway in South Dakota ahead of President Trump’s appearance at Mount Rushmore for a July 4 celebration. Demonstrators were seen gathering about three hours before Trump’s appearance, sparking warnings from authorities for them to clear the way. Law enforcement was later seen putting on gas masks and launching smoke bombs into the crowd to try to disperse the protesters.

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Tucker Carlson 2024? The GOP is buzzing Reply

It’s going to be interesting to observe how the fracturing of electoral politics into three factions (the neoliberal/neocon duopoly, Trumpists, and social democrats) will impact the two-party system. It’s also possible a “radical centrist” faction will emerge as well (e.g. Brett Weinstein’s latest project, or Jesse Ventura’s write-in campaign).

By Alex Thompson

Politico

Tucker Carlson’s audience is booming — and so is chatter that the popular Fox News host will parlay his TV perch into a run for president in 2024.

Republican strategists, conservative commentators, and former Trump campaign and administration officials are buzzing about Carlson as the next-generation leader of Donald Trump’s movement — with many believing he would be an immediate frontrunner in a Republican primary.

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Professor Richard Wolff: The coming economic crash will be like NOTHING in history 1

The capitalism vs socialism economic paradigm that emerged in the 19th century is outdated. Modern states have retained elements of both of these and fused into Burham’s managerial revolution and Kotkin’s neo-feudalism. The new paradigm should be neo-feudalism/managerial elite vs. anarchism.

Professor of Economics Richard Wolff explains the dire direction our economy is headed towards as unemployment continues to skyrocket.

Somerville, Mass. becomes first U.S. city to legally recognize polyamorous relationships 1

I have long believed that a movement to formally recognize polygamy would eventually appear in the US, and here it is. Between the polyamory movement, polygamous subcultures, and immigration from cultures where polygamy is practiced, it was almost inevitable, particularly given the recognition/acceptance of same-sex marriage.

Lauren Theisen

New York Daily News

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MPD Members Disband to Focus On Individual Violent Side Projects Reply

By Freelancer

The Hard Times

MINNEAPOLIS — Members of the Minneapolis Police Department disbanded yesterday to focus on their individual violent side projects, citing creative differences within the force and amongst city officials, a complicit spokesperson confirmed earlier today.

“I was feeling stifled,” bemoaned Lt. Mark Kudlow. “Don’t get me wrong — I love racism. But I was beginning to feel like that’s all we’re doing. It felt stagnant. What if I wanted to hurt women for a change? And not just black women, but like, all women? People ask about a reunion in the future, and I say it’s possible — I still got more dead black people in me. But for now, I just want to focus on making the violence that gets me excited to get out of bed. I’d love to just randomly assault more people with a machine gun.”

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Father Of Black Teen Killed In CHOP: It’s Time To Bring In The National Guard 1

Because there is never any violent crime and no one ever gets killed in territory controlled by the state. It’s interesting how articles like this advance the premise that an autonomous zone should somehow be a paradisical oasis overnight.

By Emily Zanotti

The Daily Wire

As Covid-19 cases took off in New York in March, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo imposed a lockdown of nonessential businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus, calling it “the most drastic action we can take.”

Now researchers say more targeted approaches — in New York and elsewhere — might have protected public health with less economic pain.

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Spanish towns offer new home for statues targeted by protests in US Reply

Good plan. Move the statues to places where people actually want them.

By Ashifa Kassam

The Guardian

A handful of towns in Spain have sought to wade into America’s reckoning with its past, offering to rehome controversial statues targeted over their links to colonialism and centuries of genocide against indigenous peoples in the Americas.

Last month, lawmakers in California announced that the statue of Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus would be removed from the state capitol in Sacramento, describing it as “completely out of place today” in the Capitol rotunda where it has stood since 1883.

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In the Autonomous Zones Reply

By

New York Times

At first they called it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

In early June, protesters aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement took over six city blocks of a gentrified Seattle neighborhood. There, activists screened films, served spaghetti, painted murals, held vigils and planted a community garden.

Their demands, according to Dae Shik Kim Jr., 28, an organizer who lives in the neighborhood, are: Defund the Seattle Police Department by 50 percent, fund more social services in the city, and drop charges against all protesters.

“We firmly believe that the type of leverage that we have during this moment would not be made possible if it wasn’t for the on-the-ground protesters who are there every night, putting that type of visible, strategic pressure on the city,” Mr. Kim said.

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Colonialism, Explained 1

Colonialism is actually much older than what this author discusses. To trace the history of colonialism, you have to go back to at least the Roman era. Roman colonialism had an impact on indigenous cultures across the Eurasian landmass that was similar to the impact of Western colonialism between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries.

By Jamila Osman

Teen Vogue

Colonialism is defined as “control by one power over a dependent area or people.” In practice, colonialism is when one country violently invades and takes control of another country, claims the land as its own, and sends people — “settlers” — to live on that land.

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The Case against Revolution with Ayaan Hirsi Ali Reply

A pro-reformist contribution to the reform vs. revolution debate. We need both Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine, both of whom were proto-anarchists. Burke’s “Vindication of Natural Society” is essentially an anarcho-libertarian document, and Paine was what would today be called a minarchist with economic views similar to those later popularized by Henry George.

 

Working Families Party breaks down TREMENDOUS success after progressive wins nationwide Reply

The fact that progressives are a growing insurgency among the Democrats, that Qanon types are winning primaries as Republicans, and public intellectuals and celebrities are trying to launch third parties shows that a lot of folks are getting pissed off at the system.

State Director of the New York Working Families Party Sochie Nnaemeka explains how progressives developed a working relationship with voters to unseat establishment candidates in the state.